From core functions, to recruitment and performance management, HR professionals can take specific steps to help their organisations prepare for hard times. A new eBook outlines how.
There were growing predictions throughout last year that Australia and New Zealand would be experiencing recessions in the near future. But it’s fair to say that nobody predicted anything like our current situation – a global retreat from public spaces causing planet-wide economic disruption.
At the moment unemployment is high, some peoples’ wages are being frozen or cut, and there is uncertain demand for products and services. If you’re an HR leader or professional, what should you be doing to help your organisation?
The answer, of course, is complicated. It depends on your industry, your speciality and so on.
A new eBook from ELMO, Fit for the Future: How HR can prepare for a recession, goes a long way to addressing these complications by outlining how recessions affect different HR responsibilities, and how HR leaders and professionals should respond. It is divided in to the following categories:
- Recruitment and onboarding
- Performance and succession
- Pay, compliance and core HR functions
- Engagement and morale assessment
- Rewards, recognition and remuneration
- Learning and development
But, as the eBook says, there are basic principles that should be guiding everyone.
The right response
In its section ‘don’t predict, prepare’, the eBook says: “Every organisation is different, but recessions have a uniform effect: there’s less money and often fewer staff, which means there’s less time and resources to accomplish everything that needs to be done.”
It goes on to say that if an organisation wants to come out of a downturn stronger, they have to figure out how to go a step beyond that. Which leads to the almost philosophical question: how do you do more with less?
The cliched response to this is that you don’t change what you do but how you do it. But without actual advice for what that ‘how’ is, the response is not very helpful.
The eBook does a good job of giving actionable advice across HR responsibilities. How do you offer training when budgets have been cut? Well, what you need is training that has a strong business case in the current climate.
In a sub-section entitled ‘Resilience: The Recession-Ready Diploma” it breaks down both the basics of resilience training and how it can be implemented cheaply and at scale with the right technology.
Also useful are its thoughts on remunerating employees when money is tight and recognising them for all the efforts they are undertaking to see your company through a tough time. But perhaps the most interesting section is on keeping staff engaged.
The eBook delves into interesting PwC research that shows while fewer people resign in a recession, resignations of top talent increases as the downturn ends. So organisations shouldn’t take critical staff for granted. Fit for the Future proposes a specific approach to employee surveys and a series of ideas to keep top staff happy when you can’t pay them more.
Want to find out how to help your organisation navigate a downturn? Download the ELMO eBook Fit for the Future now.
One of the keys to ‘doing more with less’ is realising that it’s not the same thing as ‘doing more with nothing’. Organisations need to strategically invest their time, money and resources into the areas that will net them the best advantage.
Fit for the Future explains how this interoperates with hiring decisions, and makes a compelling argument that, for many organisations, one of the investments should be in integrated HR technology. “Think about it this way – employee experience is not segregated. Each employee’s pay is linked to their performance, which is linked with their engagement, which is linked with their learning and development, and so on. Given this, why would you segregate your HR technology into discrete sections?”
We’re all daily using AI and automation to make us more efficient and productive – the massive move to remote work over the last couple of months is proof of that – so it’s no surprise that technology which specifically helps out individual professions is already here. The ability to track an employee’s experience from hiring through to performance management and career development is powerful. So too is the ability to standardise HR metrics and practices with easy-to-use technology.
But this is only one of many answers. How are you going to help your organisation do more with less?